Youth Ottawa Story

how you can help

Storytelling is kinda my thing.

You are part of my story. Let me tell you why!

I was the weird kid in school. I didn’t feel like I belonged. Ever.

Do you know this feeling?

When I was growing up, I was always interested in filmmaking, but I was never taken seriously. One day, when I was 16, my Mom came home with a flyer about the Youth Active Media (YAM) program at Youth Ottawa. The idea was to engage youth in the art of filmmaking through short films on community issues.

Wow! I couldn’t believe it! I had no idea Youth Ottawa was so incredible. But at first I was so nervous. You see … I have some anxiety. My Mom was patient and convinced me taking the risk to reach out was worth it! At the end of the first day of the program, I felt at home! Your commitment to Youth Ottawa made this kind of connection possible for me and so many of my friends.

My immediate comfort level with YAM lead me to a huge next step! I was so proud as I approached the coordinator at the time, Pixie, to ask if there were any job opportunities in the future. Can you imagine? I was so nervous and then … here I was taking this big next step.

Pixie happily gave me information on how to apply and I did. Guess what?!

Two months later, I started working as a facilitator for the YAM program. I also started to work on videography and editing. This lead to Hot Shoe Productions, a social enterprise that hires graduates from the Youth Active Media program to create powerful video products for clients. 

And my story is not over!

I am concerned that other youth may not have these opportunities in the future.

That is why I am asking for you to consider supporting Youth Ottawa with a donation. Can you step up for young people?

Oh I don’t want to forget to tell you! 

Because of the encouragement, provided by support from the community, when I graduated High School, I decided to study Film Production at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Can you imagine?! This was a dream come true. But my story with Youth Ottawa was still not done. I learned a lot at college, but when I graduated, I was struggling to find steady work. I reached out to Youth Ottawa to ask if they would have any opportunities available and was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to help facilitate the new YAM high school programs.

Youth Ottawa came through again!

Please consider a gift. There are so many youth looking for the happy ending to their story … please give generously.


Ben Bergeron